Three times a champion

    Sarah Bennion closes her career with three individual titles, helps St. Mary's claim the girls 3A team championship
  • MONMOUTH — It didn't take long for Sarah Bennion to get emotional following the 4x400-meter relay at the Class 3A track and field state championships Saturday at Western Oregon University.

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  • MONMOUTH — It didn't take long for Sarah Bennion to get emotional following the 4x400-meter relay at the Class 3A track and field state championships Saturday at Western Oregon University.
    Bennion, a senior, anchored St. Mary's run to second place in the race, which closed out her athletic career at the school with a fourth straight team title.
    With Bennion's wins in the 1,500, the 800 and the 300 hurdles as well as a 1-2 finish by senior Linnea Fong and junior Hannah Graunke in the pole vault, the Crusaders edged Catlin Gabel of Portland, 72-68, in the team standings, giving the school it's second Class 3A title after consecutive Class 2A crowns.
    "I'm so sad to be leaving," said Bennion, who plans to continue competing at Brigham Young University next year. "I love my teammates. I love my coaches. I've had the best track teams you could ask for.
    "These have been four of the best years of my life."
    Bennion will graduate having scored in 14 of a possible 16 events in four years. She won six individual titles and anchored 4x400 relay champions three times.
    "She's been such a great part of our team, such a great leader," St. Mary's coach Joe Volk said. "She's been part of other championship teams, but she carried us this year."
    In addition to the 1-2 pole vault finish, junior Mia Harrie finished fifth for the Crusaders, giving the team 22 points in that event alone. Senior Liz Pentland placed eighth in the shot put.
    Cascade Christian junior Jo-Anne Jessee finished second in the shot put, which helped the Challengers place ninth in the girls meet. Jessee had a toss of 41 feet, 71/4 inches, which was three inches short of the winning toss from last year but three feet short this year. Warrenton senior Emmi Collier won at 44-10.
    Cascade Christian's 4x100 relay team placed eighth in the opening event of the day.
    St. Mary's finished seventh in the Class 3A boys meet, but it was part of a frustrating day for their team, along with those from Cascade Christian and Rogue River.
    Junior Harrison Leep narrowly missed a win in the 400, finishing in 48.84, just .15 seconds behind Devin Harris of Westside Christian. Noah Kotler finished fourth for St. Mary's.
    Leep, who set the school record in the 200 prelims Friday at 22.48 seconds, finished fourth in the final at 22.85 while running in the fourth lane, which is reserved for the top qualifier. Harris won in 22.43.
    "I'm happy I got the school record, but I'm not very happy with the final," Leep said after the 200. "I don't like to run in Lane 4 as the favorite."
    Kotler finished fourth in the 300 hurdles, just .73 seconds from first.
    The 4x400 relay team finished seventh, giving the team 27 points — just nine from a team trophy. Nyssa won the meet with 73 points.
    Senior Hudson Eustace finished second in the 1,500 for the second straight year to help Cascade Christian place 17th in the boys meet. Junior Brandon Williams placed sixth in the 100 and junior Levi Giradot placed sixth in the triple jump to help the team score 14 points.
    Eustace was primed to score more for the Challengers but was disqualified from the 800 for running in the wrong race. Apparently so focused on the task at hand, he mistakenly got into the Class 2A starting grid, which preceded the 3A final by five minutes, and no one involved in the meet noticed until he had finished.
    The meet was cruel to Rogue River junior Seth Gretz, too. Gretz a favorite in both Class 3A hurdles races, stumbled on the last hurdle of the 110 final and suffered an ankle sprain on his right foot as he finished third. The injury caused him to miss the 300 intermediate hurdles final and the 4x400 relay, in which the team finished eighth.
    Rogue River was 19th with 13 points.
    Bennion easily defended the titles she won in the 1,500 and 800 as a junior, clocking 4:59.65 and 2:18.53, respectively.
    But it was her win in the 300 intermediate hurdles that kept the Crusaders from sharing the team title with Catlin Gabel.
    Bennion pulled out the win over co-favorite Cammy Edwards of Catlin Gabel when Edwards hit the final hurdle and stumbled across the finish line. Bennion, trailing by a stride heading to the final hurdle, cleared it without contact and leaned across the finish line in 46.06. Edwards finished in 46.08.
    Had the positions been switched, the teams would have tied for the title with 70 points.
    "That was the best race of the day for me; I can't believe I won and I don't think anyone else can," said Bennion, who edged Edwards by .21 seconds last year. "I saw her hit that hurdle and when you see that, it's something that gives you a huge adrenaline rush and that really helped pull the last little bits out of me."
    Class 3A Finals
    TEAM SCORES — Nyssa 73, Dayton 63, Westside Christian 48, Pleasant Hill 41, Valley Catholic 41, Warrenton 34, St. Mary's 29, Rainier 28, Lakeview 27, Amity 26, Bandon 23, Horizon Christian 21, Oregon Episcopal 20, Clatskanie 17, Grant Union 17, Harrisburg 15, Rogue River 14, Catlin Gabel 14, Cascade Christian 14, Creswell 11, Corbett 10, Santiam Christian 10, Chemawa 9, Burns 8, Toledo 8, Jefferson 7, Waldport 7, Coquille 6, Riverside 5, Gervais 5, Myrtle Point 4, Vale 3, Illinois Valley 2.
    100 — 1, A.J. Hedgecock, Dayton, 11.22; 2, Marcellus Ramos, Nyssa, 11.25; 3, Cedet Bailey, Clatskanie, 11.3.
    200 — 1, David Harris, Westside Christian, 22.43; 2, Devon Marshall, Rainier, 22.72; 3, Cedet Bailey, Clatskanie, 22.81.
    400 — 1, David Harris, Westside Christian, 48.73; 2, Harrison Leep, St. Mary's, 48.84; 3, Devon Marshall, Rainier, 49.91.
    800 — 1, Kirk Anderson, Westside Christian, 2:00.21; 2, Quentin Jensen, Nyssa, 2:00.22; 3, Parris Joyce, Catlin Gabel, 2:00.71.
    1,500 — 1, Nick Obletz, Oregon Episcopal, 4:05.1; 2, Hudson Eustace, Cascade Christian, 4:06.04; 3, Corbin Helt, Creswell, 4:07.48.
    110 HURDLES — 1, Nathan Ferrell, Warrenton, 15.11; 2, Leo Williamson, Toledo, 15.3; 3, Seth Gretz, Rogue River, 15.6.
    300 HURDLES — 1, Justin Angove, Bandon, 40.08; 2, Nathan Ferrell, Warrenton, 40.16; 3, Erik Sutfin, Rainier, 40.76.
    4X100 RELAY — 1, Horizon Christian (Tualat (Ryan Sederstrom 12, Tyler Forrester 11, Cameron Straton 12, Ben Smith 12), 44.19; 2, Bandon (Justin Angove 11, Jonathan Everest 12, Charlie Yarbor 12, Marcus Hardman 10), 44.36; 3, Pleasant Hill (Chris McMahen 12, Dalton Pierzina 12, Shane Brooks 12, Jacob Andress 12), 45.09.
    4X400 RELAY — 1, Westside Christian (Ethan Parker 12, John Hanscom 12, Kirk Anderson 11, David Harris 12), 3:24.9; 2, Rainier (Brian Guisinger 10, Craig Pedersen 12, Erik Sutfin 12, Devon Marshall 11), 3:28.02; 3, Pleasant Hill (Chris McMahen 12, Jacob Andress 12, Shane Brooks 12, Jonathan Ferguson 12), 3:28.6.
    DISCUS — 1, A.J. Hedgecock, Dayton, 158-00; 2, Hayden Craig, Dayton, 147-08; 3, Skylar Emery, Nyssa, 140-09.
    JAVELIN — 1, Shane Brooks, Pleasant Hill, 199-02; 2, Lane Roseberry, Lakeview, 181-06; 3, Dylan Stanwyck, Burns, 174-07.
    HIGH JUMP — 1, Trent Sohr, Grant Union, 6-01; 2, Oliver Tymoshuk, Corbett, 6-00; 3, Jonathan Ferguson, Pleasant Hill, 5-10.
    TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Marcellus Ramos, Nyssa, 43-08.50; 2, A.J. Hedgecock, Dayton, 43-01; 3, Nick Wilson, Grant Union, 42-06.50.
    TEAM SCORES — St. Mary's 72, Catlin Gabel 68, Santiam Christian 46, Valley Catholic 39, Westside Christian 38, Creswell 35, Willamina 29, Burns 28, Cascade Christian 26, Glide 24, Riverside 24, Bandon 24, Nyssa 22.50, Vale 21.50, Dayton 17, Warrenton 16, Jefferson 16, Salem Academy 14, Lakeview 12, Blanchet Catholic 11, Oregon Episcopal 11, Grant Union 10, Chemawa 10, Horizon Christian 8, Corbett 8, Rogue River 7, Clatskanie 6, Toledo 5, Umatilla 5, Harrisburg 4, Myrtle Point 3, Sheridan 2, Gervais 1.
    100 — 1, Taylor Deskins, Santiam Christian, 12.53; 2, Justyce Smith, Riverside, 12.91; 3, Mikaela Bernards, Valley Catholic, 13.01.
    200 — 1, Justyce Smith, Riverside, 26.71; 2, Claire Ledig, Bandon, 26.83; 3, Sophia Landau, Lakeview, 26.88.
    400 — 1, Claire Ledig, Bandon, 59.51; 2, Makenzee Cleveland, Valley Catholic, 59.8; 3, Sophia Landau, Lakeview, 1:00.26.
    800 — 1, Sarah Bennion, St, Mary's, 2:18.53; 2, Makenzee Cleveland, Valley Catholic, 2:22.98; 3, Madison Winn, Burns, 2:23.14.
    1,500 — 1, Sarah Bennion, St, Mary's, 4:59.65; 2, Olivia Powell, Creswell, 5:03.97; 3, Madison Winn, Burns, 5:05.02.
    100 HURDLES — 1, Ciana Baron, Westside Christian, 16.06; 2, Cammy Edwards, Catlin Gabel, 16.52; 3, Madelyn Bernard, Valley Catholic, 16.82.
    300 HURDLES — 1, Sarah Bennion, St, Mary's, 46.06; 2, Cammy Edwards, Catlin Gabel, 46.08; 3, Ciana Baron, Westside Christian, 47.6.
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